A Father’s Love

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The summer sun pierced through the shapely green oak leaves. Whispers of grass tickled my ankles as I waded along the private island encircled by our gravel drive.

This was my first time, although the calendar promised others. My mom had suggested I wait inside, but those walls could not contain me. I was too drenched in anticipation to sit idly by. The tide couldn’t have held me back from this Tuesday’s Noon.

My hands swished along my favorite shorts and I found myself wondering if I should have worn a skirt instead. What does a 9 year-old girl wear while going on a father-daughter lunch date, anyway? Would he be able to leave work like anticipated? And then I saw him. The knight in shining armor. My Dad in a red Astro van, ascending up the drive.

~~~~~~~~~~

Blink and you’ll find me in middle school on the most dreaded day of the year. For a boyfriendless, preteen girl whose mouth felt like a maze of metal that is. Yes. You know the one. Valentine’s Day.

And as I sat in English, awaiting test results, the door cracked open. In came the Principle’s Secretary carrying a bouquet of flowers. I immediately went into survival mode for I had to plan my I’m-not-disappointed face. While trying to decide what I would say to the lucky receiver, one word made my mind freeze. Did I hear her right? Did she just say my name?

Shock anchored me to my seat, so she met me there and handed me the cellophane-wrapped handful of beauty. Being certain she made a mistake, I ripped open the card. And could have burst right then and there on the asbestos-infused tile.

I’d receive that same card years later, only this time 3 hours separated the two of us. When I called to thank him, he asked me to describe what I had received. “I wanted something that would last longer this time,” he said. Never had I pampered something so. I gave that plant mist baths, stroked its leaves. Named him Coby. And that Jack-in-the-pulpit and I thrived together through the next two years of college.

So did a message on my answering machine. And my mind travels to that late night following my algebra study group. When I found my two roommates hovering over the old wooden crate stand by our phone. Both burst into excitement when they saw me and it took me pressing the green triangle for them to quiet down.

My dad’s deep tenor voice followed as he unabashedly sang into the receiver. The song that had ended my days so many times before. All those years, my roommates and I never erased that message. And sometimes I would catch one of them hitting play before tucking in for the night. It seems our desire to be wooed to sleep never goes away. And the phrase ‘goodnight sweetheart’ never grows sour.

~~~~~~~~~~

Friends, with Father’s day approaching, I find myself reminiscent of my experiences with the man who holds that title for me. There’s so much I could share with you. Because no matter how I look at it, my Dad is a deep reason for me being who I am today.

You might remember my Mother’s Day Utterance. My first discovery while reading Proverbs 31. How I shared lessons learned from my very own mother (post is found HERE). Friends, I’m thinking I’ll do something like that for my dad this year, too. I’ll write lessons I’ve learned from him. Maybe mail him memories like these above. Ones that still captivate my heart.

And perhaps I’ll succeed. I might just switch roles and let him know. Unabashedly. How much I think of him. My first date. My first valentine. The one who sang love right into my soul. And maybe he’ll see. How I still carry the love he poured down on me so many years ago.

How about you, friend? Do you have fond memories of your dad? How do you plan to honor him this year? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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24 thoughts on “A Father’s Love

  1. This is so beautiful. I am thinking how I can honor mine in a very special way this year. You have inspired. What precious appreciation and depth I sense in your love for him. God Bless. Thanks for sharing this and your gifts here.

    • Thank you so much. I’m so glad you stopped by again! Glad to know you are taking the extra effort to find your own way to honor your dad. I hope you have been as blessed as I have by yours. May blessings abound.

    • Oh, thank you Joy, for sharing with me. I had trouble keeping my memories down to a normal post size and realize that shows just how blessed God has made me. Enjoy celebrating the wonderful Fathers in your family this weekend, Joy!

  2. Sounds like your dad was a keeper. Mine was great at always telling me how special he thought I was.

    If only every father did as good a job!

  3. OK, Nikki, now that I’ve wiped my tears away I can type my comments. My dad has been gone since 1973 (remember, I’m lots older than you!) and I miss him terribly every day. Yep, I do because he was my hero, my main man, the one listened with patience and love. What will I do for him this year? A tribute on my blog perhaps in the form of a letter thanking him for all his goodness and contributing to who I am today. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your love story.

    • Oh, Sherrey… I would love to read a tribute to your Father on your blog! That sounds like a brilliant idea to honor his memory. It warms my heart to know you still carry his memory with you every day. Not that I’m doing the math or anything, but my goodness, you must have been young when you had to say goodbye to your main man… Hugs to you, friend. And enjoy celebrating the other Fathers in your beautiful family this weekend!

    • Thanks for reading, Dolly. He’s a special guy…had a hard time keeping the word count down to my normal post size — I had so much more I could have shared! and will…with him 😉

  4. This is beautiful! I still have the answering machine tape with my dad’s voice, and the bookshelf he made me is still in my bedroom. I miss him very much and would give anything to hear his voice one more time.

    • Oh, I’m getting all misty here. I’m so thankful you still have your dad’s voice somewhere! and how wonderful you still have the bookcase. Love it. Thanks for sharing with me, friend! Hugs to you.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! I don’t have fond memories of mine but God has redeemed it by providing the perfect father to my children. Thanks for sharing!

    • We are going to have to chat about that someday, Christina. But for now, what redemption! How He has spun things around for your lazy susan style with such grace! Enjoy celebrating the father of your children this weekend, friend!

  6. This one made me teary eyed, as mine has been gone for so long, and he never knew how to show his love in ways like this. But, I never doubted his love for me. Once again…thanks for the memories that cropped up these last two days while I pondered on your words. And, also, the trip down memory lane with you and your Dad.

    • I am so relieved to know you never doubted his love for you, Donna. I hope those tears were joyful ones as that is what I was going for. Celebrating these men God hand-picked for us to be our dads. It’s worth taking the time, pondering who we have become because of them. Hugs to you, friend!

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